The Calm Sea

Gustave Courbet French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 812

Courbet painted this view looking out over the English Channel during a visit to Étretat along the coast of Normandy in August 1869. The ocean has receded at low tide, and two small boats are left on the shore. The tranquil composition, with its immense sky towering over narrow bands of water and sand, is unusual for Courbet’s marine paintings of this period, dominated by dramatically crashing waves.

The Calm Sea, Gustave Courbet (French, Ornans 1819–1877 La Tour-de-Peilz), Oil on canvas

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